Mozilla's Science Lab aims to revitalise the scientific process
Mozilla has created a new initiative aimed at increasing internet adoption, digital research and the use of open source technologies among scientists and researchers. Kaitlin Thaney announced on her blog that she will be heading the newly created Mozilla Science Lab as Director. The initiative is funded by Mozilla and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and is connected to Software Carpentry, a volunteer organisation that already helps researchers "be more productive" by educating them in general computing skills and programming.
Before taking the job at Mozilla, Thaney managed the science program at Creative Commons and also worked for MIT and the Boston Globe; she currently chairs O'Reilly's big data conference Strata in London. Joining Thaney to run the Science Lab are Greg Wilson and Amy Brown, both from Software Carpentry.
Mozilla's mission statement for the Science Lab puts forth the goal of increasing the adoption of the internet and related technologies within different branches of science. Mozilla says: "even though the web was invented by scientists, we still have not yet seen it change scientific practice to nearly the same extent" – the mission of the new initiative is to challenge this status quo. The underlying idea is to make research faster, more agile and collaborative.
The initiative is still in its infancy, however, and Mozilla has not shared any concrete plans of how it aims to achieve these far-reaching goals and what branches of scientific research it will target first, beyond saying it will start by "convening a broad conversation about open web approaches and skills training, working with existing tool developers and supporting a global community of researchers."